Messenger for kids

Facebook launches Messenger Kids giving parents the edge

Facebook Launches Messenger Kids across Sub-Saharan Africa, giving parents supervision over their children’s online activity.

Facebook’s Messenger Kids

On the 10th June 2020 Facebook rolled out Messenger Kids. A video chat and messaging app that helps children connect with friends and family in a fun, parent-controlled space.

Messenger Kids – The Messaging App for Kids - Apps on Google Play
  • Available to download from the Apple App and Google Play Stores.
  • Messenger Kids caters for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years.
  • The app including two new features aimed at helping kids connect with their family and friends.

Helping to shape the Messenger Kids app, Facebook has worked closely with Youth Advisors over the years, made up of experts in online safety, child development and media. Ahead of its launch, Facebook also consulted with child safety advocates and educators across Africa. To ensure that it’s providing a service that balances parental control and teaches kids how to connect responsibly online.

Made for kids, but controlled by parents

Messenger Kids is made for kids, but controlled by parents. The app is full of features for kids to connect with the people they love. Parents will set up the account. Kids can then start using Messenger.

Fun features in the Messenger Kids App

Some fun features available in the app, include:

  • Playful masks, emojis and sound effects bring conversations to life.
  • Video chat.
  • Kids can also send photos, videos or text messages to their approved contacts. Who will receive the messages via their regular Messenger app.
  • A library of kid-appropriate GIFs, frames, stickers and drawing tools to let them create and express their personalities.

“We know that parents are turning to technology more than ever to help their kids connect with friends and family online. With privacy, security and parental control at the heart of the app, Messenger Kids provides a safe, fun space, controlled by parents to do exactly that.” – Kojo Boakye, Facebook Public Policy Director

Parental Control

Through the Parent Dashboard, parents can control and monitor their child’s activity enabling them to:

  • Monitor recent contacts, chat history, and reported and blocked contacts: Chats can be monitored by parents. They can also monitor video chatting or sending messages and how frequently those conversations happened over the past 30 days. A list of the contacts their child has blocked and/or unblocked. They can also see if they have reported any messages, reported contacts and the reason for their action. Parents will continue to be notified via Messenger if their child blocks or reports someone.
  • See a log of images and videos in chats: See the most recent photos and videos your child has sent and received in their inbox. If parents believe an image or video isn’t appropriate, they can remove it from your child’s message thread. They can also report it.
  • Enable Supervised Friending: This feature will enable parents to choose to allow their kids to also accept, reject, add or remove contacts, while maintaining the ability to override any new contact approvals from the Parent Dashboard. When a kid takes a friending action, parents will be notified through Messenger. They can override any new connections made by going to the Parent Dashboard.
  • Remote Device Logout: See all devices where your child is logged in to Messenger Kids and log out of the app on any device through the Parent Dashboard.
  • Download your child’s information: Request a copy of your child’s Messenger Kids information, similar to how you can download your own information within the Facebook app. The download will include a list of your child’s contacts, messages, images and videos they have sent and received. Your child will be notified through the Messenger Kids app when you request this information.

More Information on Messenger Kids

  • There are no ads in Messenger Kids .
  • Ads will not make use your child’s information.
  • It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases.
  • Messenger Kids is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA).
  • Facebook continues to work with parents, safety and security experts to improve Messenger Kids. They have also announced new ways to help parents connect kids with their friends. 
  • For more specific information about the app please visit messengerkids.com.

“It is our responsibility to ensure online safety for our children. The greatest sign of success is when our children display responsible independence during their online interaction. The launch of Facebook Messenger Kids is an amazing stride toward child online safety because our young children will enjoy and participate on social media on child developed platforms that have safety parameters to keep them safe.” 

Safety expert Evelyn Kasina & Family IT Consultant, Eveminet

Make sure to read about other Facebook initiatives pertaining to child safety. Safer Internet Day 2020 equips parents with useful tools and AmberAlert aims to help find missing children.

For the latest on how to use Messenger Kids, visit our Help Center. Drop me a comment letting me know if you will allow your child/children to make use of Messenger Kids app.

1 Comment

  1. This is truly helpful information!

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